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Joined 1 year, 7 months ago

Science fiction and fantasy. Astronomical Data Scientist at STScI/MAST in Baltimore. Opinions are my own. Follow me on Mastodon at Longer reviews on my blog:

#Astronomy #Books #Gaming #Fantasy #SciFi

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2023 Reading Goal

Success! Strakul has read 17 of 12 books.

reviewed System Collapse by Martha Wells

System Collapse (Hardcover, 2023, Tordotcom) 4 stars

Am I making it worse? I think I'm making it worse.

Following the events in …

Another fun novel in the Murderbot Diaries universe

4 stars

Overall, this was a fun book, albeit a bit shorter than it's predecessor. It's still a fun ride with the usual cast of characters we've come to enjoy. A relatively simple plot with plenty of action and high-stakes moments and a recognizable setting with hints of more complexity in Murderbot's psyche. I recommend it for folks that are already reading the Muderbot Diaries at it continues its story.

For a full spoiler-free review, check out my blog:

The Raven Tower (Orbit) 4 stars

Listen. A god is speaking. My voice echoes through the stone of your master's castle. …

A first/second-person narrative of gods and men

4 stars

I thought this book was pretty good, though it has a bit of a rough start. Once you get past the initial part and get used to the first/second person narrative it becomes much better. It's also not a particular long story, but the characters, especially the Strength and Patience of the Hill, are cool.

I can recommend this as a quick jump into Ann Leckie's works, particularly if you are more interested in fantasy than her usual science fiction.

For a full review, check out my blog:

The Sunlit Man (2023, Dragonsteel Entertainment, LLC) 5 stars

1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson adds to his Cosmere universe shared by …

A Cosmere-heavy standalone racing the sun

5 stars

This was quite a ride, another Cosmere novel which felt like it had a breakneck pace as characters kept running to safety. There's plenty of action and development, though the fast pace limits how much characters could explore of their world. It's probably the most Cosmere-heavy of the Year of Sanderson (though 3 of the novels are set in the Cosmere) so the hints at the greater struggles and connections to other worlds were appreciated.

For a full review, check out my blog:

Lord of Chaos (Wheel of Time, #6) 4 stars

The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. …

An average middle book promising more to come

3 stars

Overall this was a decent book. It's not the best in the series and very much feels like a middle book, but it had it's moments. There is a lot brewing behind the scenes as the Dark One's forces regroup and revise their strategy after Rand's return from the Aiel Waste. The stage is slowly being set for some explosive confrontations in books to come.

For a full review, check out my blog:

The Lathe Of Heaven (Paperback, 2008, Scribner) 4 stars

“The Lathe of Heaven” ; 1971 ( Ursula Le Guin received the 1973 Locus Award …

Dreaming of a better world has consequences

3 stars

Overall, this was an interesting short novel. While deceptively simple, the premise makes you think about a lot its concepts, including dreams, reality, and the power to change it. The characters lead the conflict- there is an abusive relationship at its core as one takes advantage of the other. That was disturbing but the main character is a little too passive in working to get out of it.

For a full review, check out my blog:

The Goblin Emperor (Paperback, 2019, Tor Books) 4 stars

The youngest, half-goblin son of the Emperor has lived his entire life in exile, distant …

A personal story of a reluctant emperor

4 stars

Overall this was a good book. It was fairly straightforward in its plot and characters, which allowed it to have a more personal feel to the main character. The setting is hindered a little by aspects of the language which, while they add some depth, they also add a great amount of complexity. I can certainly see the similarities to The Hands of the Emperor, though I prefer that book for its broader story and the focus on the secretary rather than the emperor himself.

For a full review, check out my blog: